ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR recently published a very informative article detailing the results of a survey of more than 700 readers about lighting and lighting controls, conducted by Renaissance Research & Consulting.
Because of the strong energy savings potential offered by daylight harvesting, coupled with advancing technology, codes and standards are now beginning to address daylight harvesting—specifically, International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009, ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010, ASHRAE 189.1 and Title 24-2008.
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A UL Type II wet location, high efficiency HID 50% step-dimming ballasts for standard 100W to 200W MH and HPS lamps.
ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is published every three years to provide states and other jurisdictions with a model commercial building energy code. The 2010 version, published November 2010, represents the most dramatic revision of the standard since 1999. In this two-part series of special reports by the Lighting Controls Association, we will examine the new energy standard in detail. Part one, presented here, focuses on changes to the prescriptive lighting power requirements as well as changes to scope and administrative requirements. Part two, to be published next month, will focus on the standard’s extensive list of new mandatory and optional lighting control requirements.
Radio-frequency (RF) wireless communication is a significant emerging lighting control technology. In a typical hardwired lighting control system, control signals are sent using communication wires. In a wireless RF system, control devices communicate through the air using radio waves, eliminating the need for control wiring. The resulting advantages enable advanced lighting control with greater installation flexibility and lower labor installation cost, ideal for hard-to-wire applications non-accessible ceilings, hard ceilings, asbestos abasement issues, and brick and mortar existing buildings.
Wireless RF lighting control first became popularized in residential applications, with typical applications including home theater, kitchens and other common areas, master bedrooms and exterior and security lighting. In recent years, however, wireless RF lighting control has emerged as a viable alternative to hardwired controls in commercial building applications. What benefits does RF wireless communication provide?
The first benefit is flexibility. Wireless control devices can be placed where they are needed without limitation imposed by wiring, including areas that are difficult to wire. More flexibility is provided in unique applications. Electrical planning may be shortened. After installation, devices can be moved and the system expanded with relative ease.
The second benefit is labor and material cost savings, which may result in net installation savings after the typically higher product cost is figured. Wireless control eliminates the need for dedicated control wiring and associated switch legs, traveler wires and other raw materials. The system installs more quickly, producing labor savings. With no damage to walls or ceilings, and little to no disruption to business operations, wireless control lends itself well to existing building applications demanding the benefits of advanced lighting control.
The advantages of wireless control make these solutions particularly suitable for commercial building applications where the cost of running control wires is too costly or simply not possible, such as outdoor lighting, parking garages, warehouses and retrofits.
While activity for institutional projects should hover near 2010 levels, there is likely to be a modest decline in commercial construction in 2011, according to the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel. Overall nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 2% for the year. The Panel believes 2012 will produce stronger gains, however, with overall building construction rising about 5%, with growth twice the rate of the more cyclical commercial sector. This construction outlook reviews the year’s top line construction numbers, shows where leading construction and electrical industry indicators are trending, and provides a summary of the latest AIA Consensus Construction Forecast for 2011.
To help achieve the PlaNYC goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by the year 2030, on December 9, 2009, the New York City Council enacted ambitious legislation targeting energy consumption in buildings. Recognizing that 85% of the buildings that exist today will still be in use in 2030, the Council is focusing on existing buildings. New York’s 22,000 largest buildings, concentrated largely in Manhattan, account for roughly 45% of total floorspace and energy consumption, and were specifically targeted by the legislation to make the biggest impact for the smallest amount of government intervention.
The big news is that ASHRAE 90.1-2010 has been published. It represents a major leap in evolution of the energy standard; it’s basically almost an entirely new standard. Lighting controls play a starring role. Here is a summary of lighting control-related changes that caught my eye at first glance.
Code authorities are considering approaches to energy codes that are performance based instead of mainly prescriptive. In a performance-based code, the building would be designed so that it would operate within a target limit for energy consumption—using annual kWh/sq.ft. instead of W/sq.ft. as the primary metric.
Control wiring provides a path for command and status communication between control devices in a lighting and control system and, in many cases, power to the devices as well. Wiring is interrelated with overall lighting control system considerations—such as selection of control system and components, layout and installation practices—and is therefore an important consideration when choosing a lighting control solution.